Wednesday, February 22, 2006

The Demographic Shift - 92

Susan and I are sitting in the pub when Difficult Third Date Girl walks in. I say walks in, but I didn't actually notice this entry until it was far too late and I kind of wish that I had as I could have run away and hid in the loos or something. Just a thought.

I was mid flow when Susan nudged me in the ribs, which she likes to do sometimes for a multitude of reasons that are sometimes hard to decipher, so really, how was I to know that I should stop talking and look up? I mean seriously.

I was in full flow, talking as I was, about one of my current favourite subjects: my kitchen, which is currently a 13ft by 26ft shell of emptiness (bar a hosepipe coming out of one wall and dangly electrical cables) having been completely gutted by the builder (who I haven't seen for a week, but I'm hoping that's just a small thing), which means that I'm sort of living out of the dining room where the new kitchen, fridge freezer and microwave all currently live and hoping that one day soon I'll have super shiny kitchen that will allow me to cook food (rather than heat it –I'm just not made out to be a steamerless and wokless microwave man).

Anyway, I digress, so by the time I worked out what all the nudging was about it was way too late to escape as DTDG was standing right in front of me.

I hate bumping into people that errr, you know, who you used to bump with. Bump with? Who says that? Possibly no one.

"What? Stop nudging…oh."
"Oh," echoed Susan.

DTDG is sort of smiling and is definitely about to say something, but before she does she glances over her shoulder to the guy who is waiting to be served at the bar who is sort of tall with that Richard Ashcroft longish, darkish and slightly lankish hair that says "I'm t a bit of a rocker". Boy do I hate that look.

  Posted by PicasaI loved Urban Hymns as much as much as anyone else. Bitter Sweet symphonies are a personal favourite, but really everything he has done since is total drivel. His last effort was hilariously reviewed in The Guardian (and if you haven't read it) you must.

Oh my point is Richard Ashcroft sucks and really who would date an Ashcroft look-alike? Okay lots of people, fair enough.

Anyway, finally DTDG says something.

"So what are you doing here?"

After she says that I immediately have a number of options, which is bad as like restaurant menus I go to pieces under the oppression of multiple choices.

I could have been polite, courteous and friendly. Or I could have been cutting, glib and bitter, but really to myself sounding a little cool. Finally, of course, I could be totally lame.

I always desperately aspire to be sort of cutting in situations like this, but while it works perfectly with a little rehearsal in my head when I actually step up to the plate, kick some dust and take a swing it all goes oh so wrong. This is a classic example of said situation all going a bit Pete Tong.

"Oh you know Waiting for the New Brunette, the Sirens Call, Godot the usual."

I know, I know, but for a split second, in my head, before the words actually left my mouth, it sounded really good. I thought: genius, I'd managed to work in a Billy Bragg Song, a New Order song and Samuel Beckett. I mean how good was that exactly?

DTDG looks at me for a second and gives me one of those looks that people give you that only mean one thing "I'm trying to workout why I went out with you, but I can't" and then turns around and walks off towards the bar and the Richard Ashcroft alike without another word.

"Oh dear Gord," says Susan, "that was so lame, I can't believe you just said that."

I nod, I know it was incredibly lame, but I couldn't help myself.

"I know, but in my defence I really never claimed not to be lame."
"Oh that's lucky. That was so lame you could probably be elected president of Lame Land and really as a defence its not at all good."
"Gee thanks."
"I have a question though, why?"
"I couldn't help myself, I thought it would sound cool."
"Cool? I think you missed the cool park by a lame mile and gained free entry to the Lame World of Adventure."

Susan was really running with the whole lame idea, but it made me laugh all the same, a theme park devoted to Lameness? I was suddenly reminded of the Dolly Parton girl.

"Okay, I know, lame, I couldn't help myself. I saw Richard Ashcroft and it was all over."
"Richard Ashcroft is good looking. I thought her Ashcroft alike was cute."
"Oh thanks for your loyal and oh so wavering support."
"Gord you know, I'm always elsewhere for you," she smiled, "besides I'd always wondered why you were never ever friends with people you've been out with and now I know. It's because you are incredibly lame. Your Lame Boy, not sure you would be able to catch many supper villains – lameness not being all that potent a superpower."
"Okay, okay, enough already, it's true, I'm stricken by a terrible streak of extreme lameness, but to be fair, I'm usually quite amusing beforehand."
"Amusing then lame…right."
"Look, I could have been cutting and bitter…and that would have been worse."
"No, bitter would have been much much better. Hemmingway was bitter. Interesting people are bitter, not so much with the lame though."
"Suze, I hate to break it to you, but bitter is better? Come on."
"Waiting for the New Brunette?"

I wince it's like hearing your voice played back on a tape.

"But she is a brunette…and …and I'm sort of waiting, you know, so to speak."

Susan shakes her head, not even slightly buying my poor excuse.

"The Siren's Call?"

I wince again.

"Okay, it's not New Order's best effort, fair enough, but…"

"Okay, point taken, in future, I will only be bitter."

Susan smiles at this.

"A boy after my own heart."

Monday, February 13, 2006

The Demographic Shift - 91

I get to see a lot of stupid press releases at work and as its just about Valentine's day it seemed only fair that I share a topical one with you.

It's really lazy blogging, but this one just made me laugh. Virtually half the capital’s men would have sex on the first date if they could. Shocker.

That's right men want sex and right after meeting you. But you know what's stopping them? Women. Just a paltry 14% of women said they would, according to

Look at the numbers: 50% of men 14% of women. I'm no maths genius, but that looks like a lot of disappointed men.

I'm not saying sex on the first date is a good idea. Generally it isn't, coming as it inevitably does hot on the heels of a huge intake of alcohol, but I don't quite buy the figures. Only 14% of women? Women seem more happy to skew their answers than men. Or at least skew their answers one way while men go the other way.

The survey asked a range of questions about dating and Valentine’s Day, including who would your ideal blind date be?

Johnny Depp came out tops for women (30%) followed by family man Brad Pitt (21%) and Robbie Williams (17%). Men decided Hollywood’s hottest blonde Scarlett Johansson would be their first choice followed by Keira Knightley (16%) and Angelina Jolie (15%).

No surprises there, but not much imagination either. And really what is with Keira Knightley? I mean specifically and generally? Has she been good in anything? She certainly wasn't the best thing in 'Pride & Prejudice' – that was Rosamund Pike's Jane, by a country mile.

Another shocker: London men believe they can spot who they fall in love with just by looking at them.

Looks alone, surely not, but this comes in contrast to another lie told by women with 65% of women saying personality was the biggest aphrodisiac. Oh please. Happy Valentines day.

Monday, February 06, 2006

The Demographic Shift - 90

I totally failed while off sick last week to watch any daytime TV. I feel like I failed somehow. I wish I'd caught some I really do as it's been a while since I saw any and its good to catch up with 'Trisha' every now again, not to mention 'Tyra Banks Show', which LivingTV seems to trail around the clock alternating it between episodes of 'Charmed[less]'.

About all I did see during daytime hours was the second half of an episode of 'Seinfeld'. It was the one where Jerry is dating some woman who looks stunning in a certain light, but not so hot in the shadow. This, of course, completely freaks Jerry out and he turns to trusty George who happens to be familiar, as he would, with this particularly trick of the light.

George: Yes, I am familiar with this syndrome -- she's a two-face.
Jerry: Like the Batman villain?
George: (Annoyed) If that helps you…

The next time Jerry sees said woman she is looking more like the stunner he first met until the cab they are travelling in goes dark for a second Jerry suddenly sees the horror return.

I was laughing for ages at this and had these flashbacks detailing at least two girls I have dated who fell into the "two face" category, you know, more or less.

I know this can't just be a female thing, everyone has their off days, but I have definitely come across it. For instance Moira who was short and blonde and sort of cute until one day she turned up on a date looking really rather bizarre with huge big hair that made her look completely different. It was scary. I couldn't look at her the same way again. It completely changed the way I saw her, even though that night was just a one off.

And then there was a Sophie although to be strictly honest it wasn't so much a face thing as really odd dress sense she would occasionally trip into. I remember thinking, and I've thought it since about other people I've gone out with, that I'm not sure I can walk down the street with you looking like that. It's weird, possibly flaky, but I can't help it.

Then I sort of got it. I had a flashback to a recent (old) episode of the 'West Wing' I'd been watching.

It's the one where Josh Lyman is meeting possible new love interest Amy Gardner (played by Mary-Louise Parker) and who tells him that she knows the problem with "guys like you".

Guys like you she tells him want to be hit over the head. But it's not until a little later when Josh is talking with Rob Lowe's character Sam that we find out exactly who "guys like you" are.

Sam: "She’s the real thing. Stop looking at her different than you did yesterday. The next thing that happens, you find a reason to be mad at her."
Josh: "You're wrong."
Sam : "Guys like you?"
Josh : "Yeah?"
Sam : "I'm one of them."

Isn't TV great, or in the this case the 'West Wing' and 'Seinfeld' in particular. Guys like you, just want any excuse and while this isn't quite a revelatory in nature it did sort of strike me that I too am "guys like you". And really, most of the time, any excuse will do, two faces, bad hair or bad boots.

I'm feeling almost human now, I'm sure all this TV interlinking thing will pass.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

The Demograhic Shift - 89

Have been totally ill all week, big with the coughing and the spluttering and so low on the activity front, doing not much more than blow nose through boxes of tissues and having vivid dreams brought on by Lemsip Max Strength.

Really they're not kidding about the max bit, I swear it's just more than the lemony goodness they put into that stuff. It's weird I don't dream much, but when I do I have distinct two dreams, or variations there of. The first always ends with me biting down really hard and all my teeth crumble, which obviously means something or other that has nothing to do with teeth (which just so you know as of December check up are superfine and all still there), but really let's not go there just now.

The other one I have is where I am about to sit this exam. At first I have loads of time to write my paper and then no time with just 15 minutes on the clock and not a word have I written. Last time I had this one, in the dream I was oddly desperate to go to the loo, but it was miles away and I couldn't find it and, of course, when I got back there was nothing left on the clock.

Last night I think was some kind of variation on the above. I was back at school and meant to be playing rugby. I was on my way to the game, but when I got to the changing rooms I didn't have my kit or my boots. I go back to look for my kit, which I think it is in my locker, but when I get there it's empty and I know that I am going to miss my change to get mangled on the playing fields of Hertfordshire. This must have been around the time when I still thought flinging myself at people's legs in an effort to bring them down was a great idea. Rather than dangerous and stupid and best left to people with a more natural talent in the whole flinging and downing arena. I'm happy to write the programme.

Anyway, I rush back to the changing rooms thinking I can borrow some boots and stuff and on the way I meet this guy on the stairs who I used to go to school with. That's weird I'm thinking as despite in the dream I am my 12 year-old rugby playing self he appears his thirties and dressed smartly in a pinstriped suit, looking, I guess, pretty much as he might now, but I still recognise him straight off.

We sort of stop for a moment and I then rush on in a vain kitless effort to make the match. I haven't actually seen Darren – as it was him – in about ten years. No idea what he's doing in my dreams or otherwise, like I said blame it on Lemsip Max Strength.

Oh and the other thing I did, today anyway, was watch 'Before Sunrise' and 'Before Sunset' back to back on my laptop in bed. It's the kind of thing you can only do when half conscious and ill. I really love those two films, have seen them both before, but never one after the other.

There are so many good lines peppered throughout, today among others I kind of liked this:

"Yeah, hang on, hang on. It's a, it's a totally scattered thought. It...which is kind of why it makes sense."